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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I am on the verge of purchasing a 2016 Civic EX-T, and this forum has been very helpful in answering a lot of my questions, so thank you very much for that!

I chose the EX-T for the more powerful turbo engine, but as everyone knows, this trim level comes with 17" wheels from the factory. I have done a bunch of reading about 16" versus 17" wheels, and most sources seem to say that the 17" provides only slightly better handling while being more prone to pothole damage and less grippy in rain/snow conditions. I live in New Jersey, so the car WILL be seeing quite a few potholes, and I also need to drive in snow during the winter.

I think the smaller wheels look just fine, so I am considering having my dealer swap out the 17" for 16" wheels before I take the car. (Even though, yes, I know the 17" are more valuable.) For someone who values reliability over cosmetics, does this make sense? Thanks a lot for any insight you can provide!
 

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If you are going to go with 16'' or any size that is different then stock, make sure that tires are chose that provide the same diameter as the stock combination. Doing that will assure that the speedometer and mileage are displayed the same as with the stock tires and wheels. Most manufactures don't provide a away to adjust for the error that occurs when the diameter has changed because the ECU determines these readings. For motorcycles, there is an aftermarket SpeedoHealer device that can make the adjustment . The device is attached permanently to the speed sensor. The only SpeedoHealer for Honda Civic if found was only good up to 2004 model year.
 

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If you are going to go with 16'' or any size that is different then stock, make sure that tires are chose that provide the same diameter as the stock combination. Doing that will assure that the speedometer and mileage are displayed the same as with the stock tires and wheels. Most manufactures don't provide a away to adjust for the error that occurs when the diameter has changed because the ECU determines these readings. For motorcycles, there is an aftermarket SpeedoHealer device that can make the adjustment . The device is attached permanently to the speed sensor. The only SpeedoHealer for Honda Civic if found was only good up to 2004 model year.
Depending who's reading this information, it might be confusing, even wondering where to start, so it's probably better off to wait for some numbers to be presented here, ask a wheel and tire shop or just see what the dealer says.

There's a lot to consider and factor in to this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the information. I do understand, although I'm probably in a bit over my head here. The EX-T stock wheels are 215/50 R17 91H, and I'm thinking of replacing them with the EX wheels, which are 215/55 R16 93H. I plugged both into an online calculator and the overall diameter of the two sets is not exactly equal, but it is very close. I'll have to speak to my dealer and see if it is a possibility.
 

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Once it's very close you're fine. I really haven't seen drastic differences and I used to change wheels quite a bit. Talk to your dealer and see what they say
 

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The 17s wont be a big issue with pot holes , I wouldn't swap them out for summer purposes but what I would do is get 15 or 16" steelies and dedicated winter tires as any all season is lousy in the snow unless its just a dusting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I bought the car today with the 17" wheels. Asked the dealer about swapping them out, and they didn't like the idea just because that is what the car is spec'd for. I'll run with the 17s for now and see if I have any issues. I love the car and got a great deal on it, so something that minor wasn't going to be a deal-breaker!
 

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My previous car was a GTI and it had 18" stock alloy wheels and tires. Very jarring when hitting a pothole or those damned ledges on streets where there was construction... That said, never bent or damaged a wheel.

My current ride is a Civic EX-T with 17s and I swear I feel like I'm riding on pillows. Much more cushioned ride especially since the tires have a higher sidewall.

So, unless your potholes in NJ are the size of craters, you should be avoiding them anyway. But you should be fine riding on the 17s.
 

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Just give the 17s a try for now and if gripping in rain/snow conditions are a concern, get winter tires for your rims. The stock tires should be fine for rain but it's always good to have a winter specific set.
 

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The size of the rims isn't going to make the traction difference considering we're bouncing between 15-17. The tires you choose is what will make that difference.
 
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